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is to introduce steven heydemann. steve is the senior adviser for middle east initiative. he taught at colombia. he is published and directed if the senator for democracy and civil society at georgetown university. steve is terrific asset to the institute. the project is one that it driven by syrians. with assistance technical assistance and other kinds of assistance from the institute in a sister constitution in germany. it's very important that these kinds of efforts be driven by local populations. things that are handed down from the united states typical don't work all that well. and so we are very pleased that you're all here. i hope you have lots of questions. and steve, if i can turn this over to you. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for opening us this morning. and let me add my welcome to jim's we're delighted to see you here this morning. it's going to be a very, very interesting conversation about syria after assad and the challenges of managing a post assad transition. as jim mentioned, this event this morning is in many ways the cull min nation of a project that has been
and government is not something close to an all-time high with me. if you have a conversation with stuart stevens, then how they conversation with mike leavitt, to do for. obama's more complicated and i don't have that many private conversations at the top people, but that would not be that the slum under. it's a very different conversation than one you would have a chocolate or whoever is really thinking through what obama would actually do in november, december of this year and in the first six months of next year. so i don't think it's impossible. i think that maybe we have to conduct ourselves, to get about the business of governing. i don't buy the argument that partisanship is so bad you couldn't get democratic votes for republican budget or vice versa. i think there will be a certain momentum to do with programs at the reelected president or newly elected president, given the absence of third-party candidates that will be an unusual situation where we haven't had a longtime, the certain kind of mandate. but in any case, it's not going to be -- were not going to get a lot of clues about thi
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